REVISIONS TO STANDARDISING TEST BATTING AVERAGES

REVISIONS TO STANDARDISING TEST BATTING AVERAGES

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I’m very pleased to say there were some twenty responses to my article about standardising Test batting averages (CW, 29 October), many of which have been valuable in indicating avenues for improvement on the initial exercise.

This material summarises concerns expressed in the Forum posts and, in light of these, outlines revisions made to the approach adopted and resulting changes to the ranking of players.

I have made two sets of revisions: one to reflect my own current thinking, and then I’ve combined these with additional revisions which produces results that I think participants may in general prefer.

Concerns and What’s Been Done

Three main concerns were expressed:

More clarity needed on the way Dead Runs were identified..A small statistical base applying to a number of players, especially those with materially fewer than 20 innings..A feeling that some players simply didn’t belong in very high company. 

Clarity on Dead Runs

There was some misinterpretation of what I did, being partly my fault for not being clearer, and one view expressed that whether or not “dead runs” should be discounted is a matter of personal opinion and therefore is contentious. These matters have been addressed in my consolidated note already posted on the Forum thread.

Small Statistical Base

In this “too few innings” category are Barry Richards (7 inns), Taslim Arif (10 innings with one of these contributing as much as two-fifths of his total runs), and Stewie Dempster (15 innings) – plus five others having close to 20 innings, which was adopted as the general threshold. These exceptions were based on high calibre Test appearances cut short by illness, injury, or political sanctions, or interrupted by WWII. .Of these eight “exception” players, I have now eliminated Arif, Dempster and CAG Russell (18 innings), whilst still considering Barry Richards, Sid Barnes (19), Kumar Duleepsinhji (19), Vijay Merchant (18) and Alan Melville (19) are worth retaining given their credentials (as reflected, for instance, in Cricinfo player stats and potted biographies). None have Not Out innings exceeding 11%; Richards and Merchant with nil..Barry Richards is perhaps the most controversial of these and I’ve argued his case in my article, touching on his eight innings in “Super Tests” of the Packer era, averaging 79.1 (only one innings under 28 and two centuries), fronting up, as an opener, against Dennis Lillee in 5 innings and Roberts/Holding in one other innings – this coming nearly a decade after his Tests for South Africa. Also of note: his 342 innings for Hampshire (1968-78) yielding an average of 50.5 and his 160 innings for Natal (1964/5-1982/3) at an average of 59.3. 

Not Belonging 

Initially, I thought this feeling of participants might have a connection to players with an abnormally high proportion of Not Out innings. Adopting a threshold of 17.0 % or 1 in 6 innings (close to the high end for Cricinfo’s all-time leading Test averages for 64 players with an overall figure of 10.5%), I adjusted my batsmen’s raw averages in cases where they exceeded this level.Besides Arif (20%) and Dempster (26%) – both already eliminated – this netted Adam Voges (22.6 %), and four others though by small margins in their cases: Phil Sharpe (19.0%), Steve Waugh (17.7%), Shivnarine Chanderpaul (17.5%) and Charlie Davis (17.2%). Rather than project their Not Out innings to a notional conclusion (based on completed innings of the same and higher scores, which can involve complications), I simply reworked their averages assuming only 17.0% of Not Outs. This principally down-pointed Adam Voges.

A late inclusion – Harry Brook

Brook qualified with 20 innings just two weeks after my cut-off for the initial exercise.He has a “clean bill of health”: averaging 62.15 with only 1 Not Out and zero identified Dead Runs; only one large innings against a weak attack, and no very big innings distorting his average.

The main table – which follows – has been revised to incorporate these changes. It represents my own current thinking. 

     DominanceAverage –Allow for STANDARDISED   CareerRawDead RunsRating2000-23Advance in“EGALITARIAN”Difference Ranking              SpanAverage%(ex Dead Runs)ContextExpertise AVERAGEwith Bradman1B Richards  (SA)197072.57nil3.1969.42-2.5%67.651.0%2D G Bradman  (Aus)1928-4899.948.93.2470.08-4.5%66.96 3H Brook (Eng)2022-2362.15nil2.6462.15nil62.15-7.2%4S Smith  (Aus)2010-2358.940.62.3758.59nil58.59-12.5%5D Mitchell (NZ)2019-2357.21nil2.2757.21nil57.21-14.6%6K Sangakkara  (SL)2000-1557.402.52.1755.97nil55.97-16.4%7A Voges  (Aus)2015-1657.123.32.1255.19nil55.19-17.6%8G Pollock  (SA)1963-7060.971.32.1655.77-3.4%53.87-19.5%9K Williamson  (NZ)2010-2354.892.51.9953.52nil53.52-20.1%10J Kallis  (SA)1995-201355.372.12.0053.65-0.3%53.51-20.1%11M Labuschagne (Aus)2018-2353.801.81.9452.83nil52.83-21.1%12S Barnes  (Aus)1938-4863.053.12.1054.98-5.0%52.21-22.0%13S Tendulkar  (Ind)1989-201353.781.01.8952.19-0.5%51.95-22.4%14Younis Khan  (Pak)2000-1752.050.71.8551.68nil51.68-22.8%15K Barrington  (Eng)1955-6858.67nil1.9953.52-3.8%51.48-23.1%16R Dravid  (Ind)1996-201252.310.61.8351.40-0.3%51.26-23.4%17G Sobers  (WI)1954-7457.780.71.9552.99-3.6%51.06-23.7%18M Yousuf  (Pak)1998-201052.291.31.8151.13-0.2%51.05-23.8%19R Ponting  (Aus)1995-201251.850.21.8151.13-0.3%50.97-23.9%20B Lara  (WI)1990-200652.881.01.7950.87-0.6%50.54-24.5%21E Weekes  (WI)1948-5858.61nil1.9552.99-4.8%50.46-24.6%22 =J Hobbs  (Eng)1908-3056.94nil2.0153.78-6.6%50.25-25.0% FS Jackson  (Eng)1893-190548.79nil2.0253.92-6.8%50.25-25.0%24M Hussey  (Aus)2005-1351.522.61.7450.16nil50.16-25.1%25Allan Steel  (Eng)1880-8835.29nil2.0454.18-7.5%50.11-25.2%26D Conway (NZ)2021-2350.10nil1.7350.10nil50.10-25.2%27M Hayden  (Aus)1994-200850.731.21.7249.94-0.4%49.72-25.7%28J Root  (Eng)2012-2350.160.91.7049.71nil49.71-25.8%29 =G Chappell  (Aus)1970-8453.861.31.8251.27-3.1%49.66-25.8% V Kambli  (Ind)1993-9554.201.81.7450.21-1.1%49.66-25.8%31AB de Villiers  (SA)2004-1850.662.51.6849.39nil49.39-26.2%32V Sehwag (Ind)2001-1349.34nil1.6749.34nil49.34-26.3%33J Miandad  (Pak)1976-9352.570.61.7650.47-2.4%49.28-26.4%34A Flower  (Zim)1992-200251.54nil1.7049.68-0.8%49.27-26.4%35S Chanderpaul  (WI)1994-201550.930.81.6849.41-0.3%49.26-26.4%36G Headley  (WI)1930-39 66.72nil1.8952.19-6.0%49.07-26.7%37B Azam (Pak)2016-2348.63nil1.6248.63nil48.63-27.4%38M Jayawardene  (SL)1997-201449.841.51.6248.62-0.2%48.53-27.5%39M Clarke  (Aus)2004-1549.101.31.6148.47nil48.47-27.6%40T Samaraweera  (SL)2001-1348.760.71.6048.40nil48.40-27.7%41Abid Ali (Pak)2019-2149.161.71.6048.32nil48.32-27.8%42C Walcott  (WI)1948-6056.581.61.7750.60-4.8%48.16-28.1%43C Davis  (WI)1968-7352.04nil1.7049.68-3.4%48.00-28.3%44S Waugh  (Aus)1985-200451.060.51.6148.48-1.2%47.90-28.5%45S Gavaskar  (Ind)1971-8751.12nil1.6849.41-3.1%47.89-28.5%46G Smith  (SA)2002-1448.250.91.5647.83nil47.83-28.6%47V Kohli  (Ind)2011-2348.721.91.5647.79nil47.79-28.6%48Inzamam-ul-Haq  (Pak)1992-200749.600.71.5747.95-0.6%47.68-28.8%49A Border  (Aus)1978-9450.560.31.6248.62-2.5%47.42-29.2%50A Shafique (Pak)2021-2347.23nil1.5247.23nil47.23-29.5%51U Khawaja (Aus)2011-2347.681.41.5047.00nil47.00-29.8%52V Richards  (WI)1974-9150.230.91.5948.22-2.8%46.89-30.0%53L Hutton  (Eng)1937-5556.671.41.7049.68-5.6%46.88-30.0%54A Gilchrist  (Aus)1999-200847.601.41.4846.76-0.1%46.71-30.2%55A Shrewsbury  (Eng)1882-9335.47nil1.7850.74-8.0%46.66-30.3%56Misbah-ul-Haq  (Pak)2001-1746.62nil1.4746.62nil46.62-30.4%57K Pietersen  (Eng)2005-1447.281.71.4646.47nil46.47-30.6%58D Martyn  (Aus)1992-200646.37nil1.4346.10-0.1%46.04-31.2%59KS Ranjitsinhji  (Eng)1896-190244.95nil1.6849.41-7.4%45.74-31.7%60H Amla  (SA)2004-1946.642.01.4045.71nil45.71-31.7%61T Head (Aus)2018-2346.802.51.3945.63nil45.63-31.9%62R Sharma (Ind)2013-2345.22nil1.3645.22nil45.22-32.5%63 =VVS Laxman  (Ind)1996-201245.970.91.3645.17-0.3%45.03-32.7% S Katich  (Aus)2001-1045.03nil1.3545.03nil45.03-32.8%65A Cook  (Eng)2006-1845.350.91.3444.95nil44.95-32.9%66WG Grace (Eng)1880-9336.54nil1.6549.01-8.3%44.94-32.9%67M Richardson  (NZ)2000-0444.77nil1.3344.77nil44.77-33.1%68G Kirsten  (SA)1993-200447.251.51.3444.91-0.7%44.58-33.4%69R Taylor (NZ)2007-2244.660.51.3044.44nil44.44-33.6%70H Sutcliffe  (Eng)1924-3560.73nil1.5547.69-6.8%44.43-33.6%71A Mathews  (SL)2009-2344.931.41.2944.30nil44.30-33.8%72D Lehmann  (Aus)1998-200444.95nil1.3044.38-0.2%44.27-33.9%73D Warner  (Aus)2011-2344.611.01.2844.16nil44.16-34.0%74J Langer (Aus)1993-200745.270.51.2944.24-0.6%44.00-34.3%75KD Walters  (Aus)1965-8148.260.61.4045.70-3.8%43.96-34.3%76JF Reid  (NZ)1979-8646.28nil1.3645.17-2.9%43.87-34.5%77D Jones  (Aus)1984-9246.65nil1.3344.77-2.2%43.77-34.6%78C Pujara  (Ind)2010-2343.60nil1.2443.60nil43.60-34.9%79G Boycott  (Eng)1964-8247.72nil1.3745.30-3.8%43.59-34.9%80CP Mead  (Eng)1911-2849.37nil1.5047.03-7.5%43.50-35.0%81R Pant (Ind)2018-2243.670.61.2343.41nil43.41-35.2%82D Nourse  (SA)1935-5153.81nil1.4446.23-6.3%43.30-35.3%83J Trott  (Eng)2009-1544.082.21.2043.11nil43.11-35.6%84C Lloyd  (WI)1966-8546.670.51.3244.64-3.6%43.04-35.7%85M Trescothick  (Eng)2000-0643.792.01.1942.91nil42.91-35.9%86KS Duleepsinhji  (Eng)1929-3158.52nil1.4346.10-6.9%42.89-35.9%87C Rogers  (Aus)2008-1542.87nil1.1942.87nil42.87-36.0%88W Hammond  (Eng)1927-4758.451.81.4245.97-6.8%42.84-36.0%89G Thorpe  (Eng)1993-200544.660.91.1942.92-0.7%42.62-36.4%90Saeed Anwar  (Pak)1990-200145.52nil1.2043.05-1.1%42.59-36.4%91A Melville  (SA)1938-4952.58nil1.3845.44-6.3%42.58-36.4%92C Bland  (SA)1961-6649.01nil1.3144.51-4.6%42.47-36.6%93S Nurse  (WI)1960-6946.60nil1.3044.38-4.4%42.42-36.6%94R Kanhai  (WI)1957-7447.530.51.2643.85-3.4%42.35-36.8%95D Amiss  (Eng)1966-7746.30nil1.2844.11-4.1%42.32-36.8%96 =E Paynter (Eng)1931-3959.232.91.3745.30-6.9%42.18-37.0% C Gayle  (WI)2000-1442.18nil1.1342.18nil42.18-37.0%98F Worrell  (WI)1948-6349.481.21.3144.51-5.4%42.12-37.1%99M Azharuddin  (Ind)1985-200045.032.11.1842.79-1.7%42.05-37.2%100D Boon  (Aus)1984-9643.65nil1.1942.92-2.1%42.02-37.2%101D Compton  (Eng)1937-5750.061.01.3344.77-6.2%41.98-37.3%102W Lawry  (Aus)1961-7147.15nil1.2643.85-4.4%41.92-37.4%103M Goodwin  (Zim)1998-200042.84nil1.1442.26-1.0%41.82-37.5%104Azhar Ali  (Pak)2010-2242.261.21.1041.75nil41.75-37.6%105ER Dexter  (Eng)1958-6847.89nil1.2543.71-4.5%41.73-37.7%106G Greenidge  (WI)1974-9144.720.41.2043.05-3.1%41.72-37.7%107I Bell  (Eng)2004-1542.692.41.1041.67nil41.67-37.8%108R Cowper  (Aus)1964-6846.84nil1.2443.58-4.4%41.65-37.8%109A Prince  (SA)2002-1141.64nil1.0941.64nil41.64-37.8%110M Crowe  (NZ)1982-9545.362.21.1642.52-2.2%41.60-37.9%111R Abel  (Eng)1888-190237.20nil1.3945.57-8.8%41.58-37.9%112D Cullinan  (SA)1993-200144.211.01.1241.99-1.0%41.56-37.9%113G Gambhir  (India)2004-1641.951.01.0941.53nil41.53-38.0%114R Richardson  (WI)1983-9544.39nil1.1542.39-2.1%41.49-38.0%115 =W Murdoch  (Aus)1877-9231.31nil1.3845.44-9.0%41.36-38.2% S Williams (Zim)2013-2141.36nil1.0741.36nil41.36-38.2%117D Gower  (Eng)1978-9244.250.61.1642.52-2.7%41.35-38.2%118M Vaughan (Eng)1999-200841.44nil1.0741.33-0.1%41.27-38.4%119Zaheer Abbas (Pak)1969-8544.790.51.1942.92-3.9%41.26-38.4%120 =R Simpson  (Aus)1957-7846.81nil1.2143.18-4.5%41.23-38.4% Shoaib Mohammad  (Pak)1983-9544.341.81.1342.12-2.1%41.23-38.4%122 =S Ganguly  (India)1996-200842.170.41.0741.33-0.4%41.16-38.5% H Gibbs  (SA)1996-200841.950.61.0741.33-0.4%41.16-38.5%124N Harvey  (Aus)1948-6348.411.71.2243.32-5.5%40.95-38.8%125G Turner  (NZ)1969-8344.64nil1.1642.52-3.8%40.89-38.9%126A Kallicharran  (WI)1972-8144.43nil1.1642.52-3.9%40.86-39.0%127T Latham (NZ)2014-2341.531.91.0340.74nil40.74-39.2%128 =Saleem Malik (Pak)1982-9943.690.71.0841.46-2.0%40.62-39.3% R Subba Row  (Eng)1958-6146.85nil1.1742.65-4.8%40.62-39.3%130S Dhawan (Ind)2013-1840.61nil1.0240.61nil40.61-39.4%131V Hazare  (Ind)1946-5347.65nil1.2243.32-6.3%40.60-39.4%132M Agarwal (Ind)2018-2241.331.91.0140.54nil40.54-39.4%133R Smith  (Eng)1988-9643.67nil1.0541.06-1.7%40.36-39.7%134AH Jones  (NZ)1987-9544.271.91.0541.06-1.9%40.30-39.8%135Aravinda de Silva  (SL)1984-200242.970.51.0440.93-1.7%40.25-39.9%136A Faulkner  (SA)1906-2440.79nil1.2643.85-8.3%40.21-40.0%137M Taylor  (Aus)1989-9943.49nil1.0340.80-1.5%40.20-40.0%138E Barlow (SA)1961-7045.74nil1.1342.12-4.6%40.19-40.0%139M Slater  (Aus)1993-200142.830.31.0140.53-1.1%40.10-40.1%140E Tyldesley  (Eng)1921-2955.00nil1.2343.45-7.8%40.05-40.2%141PBH May (Eng)1951-6146.770.81.1442.26-5.6%39.89-40.4%142L Rowe  (WI)1972-8043.55nil1.0941.59-4.1%39.88-40.4%143D Haynes  (WI)1978-9442.29nil1.0240.67-2.7%39.58-40.9%144 =M Amarnath  (India)1969-8842.50nil1.0541.06-3.7%39.54-40.9% J Robertson  (Eng)1947-5246.37nil1.1442.26-6.4%39.54-40.9%146P McDonnell  (Aus)1880-8829.93nil1.2443.58-9.3%39.51-41.0%147D Vengsarkar  (India)1976-9242.13nil1.0240.67-3.0%39.44-41.1%148N O’Neill  (Aus)1958-6545.55nil1.0841.46-4.9%39.42-41.1%149A Rae  (WI) 1948-5346.18nil1.1342.12-6.4%39.41-41.1%150 =H Tillakaratne  (SL)1989-200441.70nil0.9539.74-1.0%39.34-41.2% G Gooch  (Eng)1975-9542.580.91.0040.40-2.6%39.34-41.2%152A Morris  (Aus)1946-5546.480.81.1241.99-6.5%39.28-41.3%153C Hunte  (WI)1958-6745.06nil1.0541.06-4.9%39.05-41.7%154I Redpath  (Aus)1964-7643.450.61.0340.80-4.5%38.98-41.8%155 =P Sharpe  (Eng)1963-6943.67nil1.0340.80-4.5%38.96-41.8% L Hassett  (Aus)1938-5346.561.61.1041.73-6.6%38.96-41.8%157C Hill  (Aus)1896-191239.21nil1.1642.52-8.7%38.83-42.0%158R Fredericks  (WI)1968-7742.49nil1.0140.53-4.4%38.77-42.1%159T Graveney  (Eng)1951-6944.38nil1.0440.93-5.3%38.76-42.1%160J Edrich  (Eng)1963-7643.541.41.0140.53-4.6%38.69-42.2%161I Chappell  (Aus)1964-80  42.420.71.0040.40-4.4%38.61-42.3%162V Trumper  (Aus)1899-191239.04nil1.1442.26-8.7%38.59-42.4%163C Cowdrey  (Eng)1954-7544.060.31.0140.53-5.0%38.52-42.5%164Hanif Mohammad (Pak)1952-6943.98nil1.0040.40-5.3%38.26-42.9%165J Ryder  (Aus)1920-2951.62nil1.0440.93-8.1%37.62-43.8%166C Macartney  (Aus)1907-2641.78nil1.0541.06-8.7%37.51-44.0%167V Merchant  (Ind)1933-5147.72nil1.0040.40-7.3%37.47-44.0%168B Mitchell  (SA)1929-4948.88nil1.0040.40-7.5%37.36-44.2%169V Ransford  (Aus)1907-1237.84nil1.0340.80-9.1%37.11-44.6%170W Bates  (Eng)1882-8727.33nil1.0440.93-9.9%36.86-45.0%171G Gunn  (Eng)1907-3040.00nil1.0040.40-8.9%36.82-45.0%

I suspect that some participants may still have a number of reservations over the revised ranking. I’ve considered two possible reasons:

The Ranking May Over-State Ability: for those with only 20-30 innings

From further analysis, I think this to be unlikely in general:

Taking the top 14 players of the above table who have at least 50 innings and 10 more selected at random with 50 plus innings (24 players in all), only Bradman, Younis Khan and Pujara didn’t improve on their initial 20 innings when they reached 50 innings. The former were a down a touch on 20 innings (official) averages of 99.4 and 41.2; whilst Pujara dropped from 61 to 49.All except five improved their average when moving from 20 to 30 innings, two of whom maintained their average unchanged.Each of the 24 players examined had a wide variety of scores in their initial 20 innings, rather than having predominantly low or high scores (though Bradman and Labuschagne were heavily represented with big centuries).

Details for (a) and (b) are given in Table 2 below.

  Averages  at 20 innsat 30 innsat 50 innsD. Bradman9910696S. Smith323552K. Sangakkara385248G. Pollock515461   (41 inns)K. Williamson313135J. Kallis242941M. Labuschagne586259S. Tendulkar353954M. Younis Khan414639K. Barrington464352R. Dravid485255G. Sobers314960M. Yousuf353343R. Ponting424044B. Lara475659    M. Hayden263951Inzamam-ul-Haq334346D. Martyn404546G. Kirsten353736C. Pujara616249A. Prince373743Zaheer Abbas343644S. Dhawan364244P. May403645G. Gooch253135

Improvement is, in general, to be expected with increasing experience/learning (barring injury, etc).

As far as this evidence takes us, it suggests that averages for those with around 20-30 innings can generally be taken as representative of ability at that stage of their careers, though there will likely be some individual exceptions. 

Importance of Attaining “Stature” 

So I turned to another potential reason for reservations about the revised ranking table – lack of attained stature in the game. I now suspect this is the chief reason.

“Stature” is attained or bestowed by career length (years played), or more usually by a sizeable accumulation of innings, for those with a distinctly healthy average. Forum participants like arguing largely about heavyweights, judging from the Player Comparisons thread. 

One could give a graduated weighting for this factor, though no participant explicitly advocated this. Instead, I’ve gone for a cut-off rule. What is to count as a sufficient number of innings is debatable, but I’ve chosen 50 innings as reasonable for post-WW1 players, and 25 innings for previous times to reflect a far lower frequency of Tests and the calibre of who this captures.

Upshot: 32 of the 171 players have less than the specified number of innings – ie 19% of the total. These would all be excluded on this basis and are identified by underlining their names in Table 1. 

Only 2 of these 32 are wholly or predominantly pre-WW1 players (15 in total). 

Reflection: 6 of these 32 players include widely recognised Greats of the game: Graeme Pollock, Barry Richards, Sid Barnes, KS Duleepsinhji, Vijay Merchant and George Headley. I presume (without actual knowledge) that all, or most, participants would want to retain them as valid exceptions. If this is so, I’ve shown the resulting 145 players and the top 25 averages in the table and graph below:

     DominanceAverage –Allow for STANDARDISED   CareerRawDead RunsRating2000-23Advance in“EGALITARIAN”Difference Ranking              SpanAverage%(ex Dead Runs)ContextExpertise AVERAGEwith Bradman1B Richards  (SA)197072.57nil3.1969.42-2.5%67.651.0%2D G Bradman  (Aus)1928-4899.948.93.2470.08-4.5%66.96 3S Smith  (Aus)2010-2358.940.62.3758.59nil58.59-12.5%4K Sangakkara  (SL)2000-1557.402.52.1755.97nil55.97-16.4%5G Pollock  (SA)1963-7060.971.32.1655.77-3.4%53.87-19.5%6K Williamson  (NZ)2010-2354.892.51.9953.52nil53.52-20.1%7J Kallis  (SA)1995-201355.372.12.0053.65-0.3%53.51-20.1%8M Labuschagne (Aus)2018-2353.801.81.9452.83nil52.83-21.1%9S Barnes  (Aus)1938-4863.053.12.1054.98-5.0%52.21-22.0%10S Tendulkar  (Ind)1989-201353.781.01.8952.19-0.5%51.95-22.4%11Younis Khan  (Pak)2000-1752.050.71.8551.68nil51.68-22.8%12K Barrington  (Eng)1955-6858.67nil1.9953.52-3.8%51.48-23.1%13R Dravid  (Ind)1996-201252.310.61.8351.40-0.3%51.26-23.4%14G Sobers  (WI)1954-7457.780.71.9552.99-3.6%51.06-23.7%15M Yousuf  (Pak)1998-201052.291.31.8151.13-0.2%51.05-23.8%16R Ponting  (Aus)1995-201251.850.21.8151.13-0.3%50.97-23.9%17B Lara  (WI)1990-200652.881.01.7950.87-0.6%50.54-24.5%18E Weekes  (WI)1948-5858.61nil1.9552.99-4.8%50.46-24.6%19=J Hobbs  (Eng)1908-3056.94nil2.0153.78-6.6%50.25-25.0% FS Jackson  (Eng)1893-190548.79nil2.0253.92-6.8%50.25-25.0%21M Hussey  (Aus)2005-1351.522.61.7450.16nil50.16-25.1%22M Hayden  (Aus)1994-200850.731.21.7249.94-0.4%49.72-25.7%23J Root  (Eng)2012-2350.160.91.7049.71nil49.71-25.8%24G Chappell  (Aus)1970-8453.861.31.8251.27-3.1%49.66-25.8%25AB de Villiers  (SA)2004-1850.662.51.6849.39nil49.39-26.2%26V Sehwag (Ind)2001-1349.34nil1.6749.34nil49.34-26.3%27J Miandad  (Pak)1976-9352.570.61.7650.47-2.4%49.28-26.4%28A Flower  (Zim)1992-200251.54nil1.7049.68-0.8%49.27-26.4%29S Chanderpaul  (WI)1994-201550.930.81.6849.41-0.3%49.26-26.4%30G Headley  (WI)1930-39 66.72nil1.8952.19-6.0%49.07-26.7%31B Azam (Pak)2016-2348.63nil1.6248.63nil48.63-27.4%32M Jayawardene  (SL)1997-201449.841.51.6248.62-0.2%48.53-27.5%33M Clarke  (Aus)2004-1549.101.31.6148.47nil48.47-27.6%34T Samaraweera  (SL)2001-1348.760.71.6048.40nil48.40-27.7%35C Walcott  (WI)1948-6056.581.61.7750.60-4.8%48.16-28.1%36S Waugh  (Aus)1985-200451.060.51.6148.48-1.2%47.90-28.5%37S Gavaskar  (Ind)1971-8751.12nil1.6849.41-3.1%47.89-28.5%38G Smith  (SA)2002-1448.250.91.5647.83nil47.83-28.6%39V Kohli  (Ind)2011-2348.721.91.5647.79nil47.79-28.6%40Inzamam-ul-Haq  (Pak)1992-200749.600.71.5747.95-0.6%47.68-28.8%41A Border  (Aus)1978-9450.560.31.6248.62-2.5%47.42-29.2%42U Khawaja (Aus)2011-2347.681.41.5047.00nil47.00-29.8%43V Richards  (WI)1974-9150.230.91.5948.22-2.8%46.89-30.0%44L Hutton  (Eng)1937-5556.671.41.7049.68-5.6%46.88-30.0%45A Gilchrist  (Aus)1999-200847.601.41.4846.76-0.1%46.71-30.2%46A Shrewsbury  (Eng)1882-9335.47nil1.7850.74-8.0%46.66-30.3%47Misbah-ul-Haq  (Pak)2001-1746.62nil1.4746.62nil46.62-30.4%48K Pietersen  (Eng)2005-1447.281.71.4646.47nil46.47-30.6%49D Martyn  (Aus)1992-200646.37nil1.4346.10-0.1%46.04-31.2%50KS Ranjitsinhji  (Eng)1896-190244.95nil1.6849.41-7.4%45.74-31.7%51H Amla  (SA)2004-1946.642.01.4045.71nil45.71-31.7%52T Head (Aus)2018-2346.802.51.3945.63nil45.63-31.9%53R Sharma (Ind)2013-2345.22nil1.3645.22nil45.22-32.5%54=VVS Laxman  (Ind)1996-201245.970.91.3645.17-0.3%45.03-32.7% S Katich  (Aus)2001-1045.03nil1.3545.03nil45.03-32.8%56A Cook  (Eng)2006-1845.350.91.3444.95nil44.95-32.9%57WG Grace (Eng)1880-9336.54nil1.6549.01-8.3%44.94-32.9%58M Richardson  (NZ)2000-0444.77nil1.3344.77nil44.77-33.1%59G Kirsten  (SA)1993-200447.251.51.3444.91-0.7%44.58-33.4%60R Taylor (NZ)2007-2244.660.51.3044.44nil44.44-33.6%61H Sutcliffe  (Eng)1924-3560.73nil1.5547.69-6.8%44.43-33.6%62A Mathews  (SL)2009-2344.931.41.2944.30nil44.30-33.8%63D Warner  (Aus)2011-2344.611.01.2844.16nil44.16-34.0%64J Langer (Aus)1993-200745.270.51.2944.24-0.6%44.00-34.3%65KD Walters  (Aus)1965-8148.260.61.4045.70-3.8%43.96-34.3%66JF Reid  (NZ)1979-8646.28nil1.3645.17-2.9%43.87-34.5%67D Jones  (Aus)1984-9246.65nil1.3344.77-2.2%43.77-34.6%68C Pujara  (Ind)2010-2343.60nil1.2443.60nil43.60-34.9%69G Boycott  (Eng)1964-8247.72nil1.3745.30-3.8%43.59-34.9%70CP Mead  (Eng)1911-2849.37nil1.5047.03-7.5%43.50-35.0%71R Pant (Ind)2018-2243.670.61.2343.41nil43.41-35.2%72D Nourse  (SA)1935-5153.81nil1.4446.23-6.3%43.30-35.3%73J Trott  (Eng)2009-1544.082.21.2043.11nil43.11-35.6%74C Lloyd  (WI)1966-8546.670.51.3244.64-3.6%43.04-35.7%75M Trescothick  (Eng)2000-0643.792.01.1942.91nil42.91-35.9%76KS Duleepsinhji  (Eng)1929-3158.52nil1.4346.10-6.9%42.89-35.9%77W Hammond  (Eng)1927-4758.451.81.4245.97-6.8%42.84-36.0%78G Thorpe  (Eng)1993-200544.660.91.1942.92-0.7%42.62-36.4%79Saeed Anwar  (Pak)1990-200145.52nil1.2043.05-1.1%42.59-36.4%80S Nurse  (WI)1960-6946.60nil1.3044.38-4.4%42.42-36.6%81R Kanhai  (WI)1957-7447.530.51.2643.85-3.4%42.35-36.8%82D Amiss  (Eng)1966-7746.30nil1.2844.11-4.1%42.32-36.8%83C Gayle  (WI)2000-1442.18nil1.1342.18nil42.18-37.0%84F Worrell  (WI)1948-6349.481.21.3144.51-5.4%42.12-37.1%85M Azharuddin  (Ind)1985-200045.032.11.1842.79-1.7%42.05-37.2%86D Boon  (Aus)1984-9643.65nil1.1942.92-2.1%42.02-37.2%87D Compton  (Eng)1937-5750.061.01.3344.77-6.2%41.98-37.3%88W Lawry  (Aus)1961-7147.15nil1.2643.85-4.4%41.92-37.4%89Azhar Ali  (Pak)2010-2242.261.21.1041.75nil41.75-37.6%90ER Dexter  (Eng)1958-6847.89nil1.2543.71-4.5%41.73-37.7%91G Greenidge  (WI)1974-9144.720.41.2043.05-3.1%41.72-37.7%92I Bell  (Eng)2004-1542.692.41.1041.67nil41.67-37.8%93A Prince  (SA)2002-1141.64nil1.0941.64nil41.64-37.8%94M Crowe  (NZ)1982-9545.362.21.1642.52-2.2%41.60-37.9%95D Cullinan  (SA)1993-200144.211.01.1241.99-1.0%41.56-37.9%96G Gambhir  (India)2004-1641.951.01.0941.53nil41.53-38.0%97R Richardson  (WI)1983-9544.39nil1.1542.39-2.1%41.49-38.0%98W Murdoch  (Aus)1877-9231.31nil1.3845.44-9.0%41.36-38.2%99D Gower  (Eng)1978-9244.250.61.1642.52-2.7%41.35-38.2%100M Vaughan (Eng)1999-200841.44nil1.0741.33-0.1%41.27-38.4%101Zaheer Abbas (Pak)1969-8544.790.51.1942.92-3.9%41.26-38.4%102=R Simpson  (Aus)1957-7846.81nil1.2143.18-4.5%41.23-38.4% Shoaib Mohammad  (Pak)1983-9544.341.81.1342.12-2.1%41.23-38.4%104S Ganguly  (India)1996-200842.170.41.0741.33-0.4%41.16-38.5%105H Gibbs  (SA)1996-200841.950.61.0741.33-0.4%41.16-38.5%106N Harvey  (Aus)1948-6348.411.71.2243.32-5.5%40.95-38.8%107G Turner  (NZ)1969-8344.64nil1.1642.52-3.8%40.89-38.9%108A Kallicharran  (WI)1972-8144.43nil1.1642.52-3.9%40.86-39.0%109T Latham (NZ)2014-2341.531.91.0340.74nil40.74-39.2%110Saleem Malik (Pak)1982-9943.690.71.0841.46-2.0%40.62-39.3%111S Dhawan (Ind)2013-1840.61nil1.0240.61nil40.61-39.4%112V Hazare  (Ind)1946-5347.65nil1.2243.32-6.3%40.60-39.4%113R Smith  (Eng)1988-9643.67nil1.0541.06-1.7%40.36-39.7%114AH Jones  (NZ)1987-9544.271.91.0541.06-1.9%40.30-39.8%115Aravinda de Silva  (SL)1984-200242.970.51.0440.93-1.7%40.25-39.9%116A Faulkner  (SA)1906-2440.79nil1.2643.85-8.3%40.21-40.0%117M Taylor  (Aus)1989-9943.49nil1.0340.80-1.5%40.20-40.0%118E Barlow (SA)1961-7045.74nil1.1342.12-4.6%40.19-40.0%119M Slater  (Aus)1993-200142.830.31.0140.53-1.1%40.10-40.1%120PBH May (Eng)1951-6146.770.81.1442.26-5.6%39.89-40.4%121D Haynes  (WI)1978-9442.29nil1.0240.67-2.7%39.58-40.9%122M Amarnath  (India)1969-8842.50nil1.0541.06-3.7%39.54-40.9%123P McDonnell  (Aus)1880-8829.93nil1.2443.58-9.3%39.51-41.0%124D Vengsarkar  (India)1976-9242.13nil1.0240.67-3.0%39.44-41.1%125N O’Neill  (Aus)1958-6545.55nil1.0841.46-4.9%39.42-41.1%126=H Tillakaratne  (SL)1989-200441.70nil0.9539.74-1.0%39.34-41.2% G Gooch  (Eng)1975-9542.580.91.0040.40-2.6%39.34-41.2%128A Morris  (Aus)1946-5546.480.81.1241.99-6.5%39.28-41.3%129C Hunte  (WI)1958-6745.06nil1.0541.06-4.9%39.05-41.7%130I Redpath  (Aus)1964-7643.450.61.0340.80-4.5%38.98-41.8%131L Hassett  (Aus)1938-5346.561.61.1041.73-6.6%38.96-41.8%132C Hill  (Aus)1896-191239.21nil1.1642.52-8.7%38.83-42.0%133R Fredericks  (WI)1968-7742.49nil1.0140.53-4.4%38.77-42.1%134T Graveney  (Eng)1951-6944.38nil1.0440.93-5.3%38.76-42.1%135J Edrich  (Eng)1963-7643.541.41.0140.53-4.6%38.69-42.2%136I Chappell  (Aus)1964-80  42.420.71.0040.40-4.4%38.61-42.3%137V Trumper  (Aus)1899-191239.04nil1.1442.26-8.7%38.59-42.4%138C Cowdrey  (Eng)1954-7544.060.31.0140.53-5.0%38.52-42.5%139Hanif Mohammad (Pak)1952-6943.98nil1.0040.40-5.3%38.26-42.9%140C Macartney  (Aus)1907-2641.78nil1.0541.06-8.7%37.51-44.0%141V Merchant  (Ind)1933-5147.72nil1.0040.40-7.3%37.47-44.0%142B Mitchell  (SA)1929-4948.88nil1.0040.40-7.5%37.36-44.2%143V Ransford  (Aus)1907-1237.84nil1.0340.80-9.1%37.11-44.6%144W Bates  (Eng)1882-8727.33nil1.0440.93-9.9%36.86-45.0%145G Gunn  (Eng)1907-3040.00nil1.0040.40-8.9%36.82-45.0%

What to do About any Remaining Oddities?

Finally, for those who might find the rankings of Table 3 broadly satisfactory, what should be done in respect of any oddities – ie players considered to be well out of their warranted position?

In my view, it is far better to identify reasons and alter the standardising model to suit than to try an ad hoc repositioning of a particular player, as the “reasons” are likely to relate to some other players also. Eg to take account of reduced performance after a major break due to injury/illness or whatever. That’s the scientific approach: keep iterating until the model applied gives sufficiently acceptable results.

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